There is a possibility of occurrence of Malin landslide like incidents but state government looks ill-equipped to handle these disasters.
The Malin village landslide incident has raised questions about the Maharashtra government’s preparedness to handle such type of calamities in future. It seems that the state government had failed to learn any lessons from this tragedy which claimed the lives of 136 people as it was followed by the landslide incidents in Chembur and Raigad. Relief and rescue operation work were delayed due to the lackadaisical attitude of the government.
The BMC has identified around 263 areas across its 24 wards that are prone to landslides. Nearly 1.7 lakh people-mostly slum dwellers- reside in hilly areas where such incidents occur. The civic body had sent notices to the residents asking them to vacate their houses to avert any mishap. However, residents are reluctant to vacate their houses as the state government has not provided any alternate accommodation to them.
Devendra Ambekar, opposition Congress leader in BMC said, “We have demanded that the retaining wall be constructed to prevent soil erosion. Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai Sitaram Kunte is the head of the disaster management committee. He should chalk out a concrete plan to prevent such kind of calamities in the future.”
In 2010, the Mumbai Slum Improvement Board (MSIB) had submitted its report to the state government around 327 areas is being prone to landslides. A total of 25 assembly constituencies had 22,483 hutments located in 327 hilly areas. Of these, 49 were in Mumbai city while the rest were in the western and eastern suburbs. Surveyors had classified these hilly areas as dangerous locations and said that while 10,381 hutments could be protected by erecting retaining walls around them, the remaining hutments needed to be shifted urgently.
The state Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) are ill- prepared and no instructions are given to them about how to act at the time of any major incident. As per the report, Committee headed by CM has not conducted any meeting in the tenure of this three year, which results into the poor performance of disaster management team.
Many hilly areas land fall under the jurisdiction of various departments such as BMC, MMRDA, MHADA, Railways etc. Every department is passing the buck on the other and claims that land doesn’t come under their jurisdiction thereby creating hardships for the victims.
Patangrao Kadam, Maharashtra’s Relief and Rehabilitation Minister said, “How many villages like this exist we will have to enquire. We will conduct a survey all over Maharashtra. We will take a decision based on that.”
After Malin landslide incident people residing near hilly regions of are worried about their safety.
A six-year-old boy was killed and two adults suffered minor injuries in a landslide which occurred at Chembur five days back. It flattened six shanties above a tunnel along the Eastern Freeway’s Mahul end.
There was a landslide on the Poladpur-Mahabaleshwar road in Raigad district two days ago but luckily no one suffered any major casualty.
A crack has been noticed few days ago on the Mumbai- Nashik Highway. Crack is around 25 meter long and three to four feet deep. The cracks have been filled on temporarily basis but still the commuters are at risk.